As a member of United MileagePlus, I’m keenly aware through the airline’s marketing that it is approaching its 40th anniversary. Quite a milestone for what is considered the second longest active airline loyalty program. To me, the most interesting element is not the forty years of the program or being the second one developed, but that in combination with the fact that it was launched in just ten days.
You can read the full story about that here. Forty years of a program that started as a response to another airline’s loyalty program, built in ten days and still rolling along today and includes an individual that is considered the world’s most frequent flyer at 20 million miles. It can claim 100 million members which accounts for over 50% of the airline’s revenue according to some measures.
Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day
I cannot imagine a loyalty program being built in a day, or even ten days. In today’s world, the first review of the legal terms and conditions would last at least ten days. The marketing copy itself would take more than ten days just to write, test and approve.
A Customer Experience Strategy has quite a few steps and many decisions need to be made. I know of a company that made a decision to start measuring one day, and the next day they had selected a provider to start measuring wanting to begin measurement as soon as humanly possible. Would you say that you can build a CX strategy in a day? Or should it take longer? How much longer? I have also worked with a company that took almost two years before goals were set and measurement was started.
What steps should be included? Is it enough to build a customer segmentation and needs understanding? Or should you have a CX touchpoint inventory before having a strategy? A market analysis and understanding of competitive strengths and weaknesses in the customer experience? Perhaps it ends when you select a KPI such as NPS? Does the building end when you start measuring CX? Or perhaps when you start closing the loop with customers?
CX Strategy Built In A Day
It might be a controversial view, but I do believe a CX Strategy can be built in a day. I also believe it should continue to be built upon in perpetuity. It just takes a team of stakeholders and decision makers to decide that the customer will be central to decisions being made by the company. It can happen in one meeting. Sure, there will still be buy-in that is required, decisions on what will be included in the customer satisfaction survey – both touchpoints and measurements and aligning it all with business outcomes. Still, the decision to be customer-centric just takes a commitment by everyone on day one. However, at the same time, the strategy does not end there. It should continue to be evaluated and evolve. It should not stop – it should continue – each and every step. There will need to be innovation, updated strategy, updated measurement. Only in that way, will you have a CX strategy that will keep customers happy and loyal – perhaps for the next forty years.
Parting thought: Today, May 11th, we will be hosting our user conference called XDay North America. We have a great lineup of panelists and speaking, hope you’ll join us.